Roasted Chickpeas

I always see roasted chickpeas at the grocery store but have never bought them because if I can make it from scratch, I'd prefer that. That way, I know exactly where my ingredients are from and what's in it. I made two recipes at once and it's easy to do. The first recipe is Oh She Glow's Salt & Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas. The second recipe I improvised and will call Spicy Roasted Chickpeas (although it's a pretty common recipe).

20160720-MK1A1518.jpg
 Salt and vinegar roasted chickpeas on the left; spicy roasted chickpeas on the right.

Salt and vinegar roasted chickpeas on the left; spicy roasted chickpeas on the right.

 Spicy roasted chickpeas on the right; salt and vinegar roasted chickpeas on the left.

Spicy roasted chickpeas on the right; salt and vinegar roasted chickpeas on the left.

Here's the recipe for the salt & vinegar roasted chickpeas:

Ingredients:
1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2.5 cups of white vinegar (I only used 2 cups)
1 TSP of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 TSP fine great sea salt

Directions:

1. Place the chickpeas and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Add a dash of sea salt. Bring the vinegar to a boil and cook for about 30 seconds, and then remove the pan from the heat. Some of the chickpea skins will fall off during this process which is totally fine. Cover the pan and let the chickpeas soak in the vinegar for 25 to 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Drain the chickpeas in a colander, discarding the vinegar. Shake off any excess vinegar, but there's no need to dry the chickpeas.

4. Transfer the chickpeas to the baking sheet and drizzle them with oil. (I put this recipe on only half the baking sheet, saving room for the second recipe below). Massage the oil into the chickpeas with your fingers until fully coasted. Sprinkle with sea salt.

5. Roast the chickpeas for 20 minutes, and then give the pan a gentle shake to roll the chickpeas around on the pan. Roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden and lightly charred.

 Spicy Roasted Chickpeas on the left; Salt & Vinegar Chickpeas on the right.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas on the left; Salt & Vinegar Chickpeas on the right.

For the Spicy Roasted Chickpeas you will need:

1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 TSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 TSP fine grain sea salt
1 TSP cumin
1 TSP red chili pepper
1/2 TSP cayenne

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (same as recipe above).

2. Place a tea towel on the counter. Pour the drained and rinsed chickpeas onto the tea towel and place another tea towel on top. Gently rub the chickpeas until completely dry. Carefully transfer the chickpeas to the prepared baking sheet. 

3. Drizzle the chickpeas with olive oil and roll them around until they are evenly coated.

4. Add your spices: salt, cumin, red chili pepper and cayenne.

5. Step 5 is the same as the previous recipe. Roast them for 20 minutes, then roll them around, and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Easy!

Classic glo bar.

The hardest thing for me transitioning to vegetarianism/veganism are snacks (I say "vegetarianism/veganism" because while I'm mostly eating vegan, there are the very occasional times I still have a slice of cheese, and on top of that, I'm still eating some fish, which would make me more of a pescatarian, but titles are just confusing, and I don't want to label myself other than saying I'm trying to eat vegan). Anyway! The hardest thing with this transition has been snacks. Along with having some past issues of anemia, I have very low blood pressure and I'm a self-diagnosed hypoglycemic. Long story short, I generally need to eat every 2-3 hours or I feel like I'm going to pass out (yes, I eat a lot of protein). With my job as a photographer, my schedule is pretty irregular, which means sometimes I have a photoshoot over lunch, or both lunch and dinner, and so my eating schedule can be all over the place. If I'm on the go taking photos, I can't necessarily run into a gas station and grab a healthy snack, but if I don't eat something, I'll be about ready to pass out. 

I was super excited to try out these Classic glo bar's by Oh She Glows and oh my goodness are they ever delicious! They're pretty easy to make, they are raw (you don't have to bake them), and they are perfect for me to take on the go to a photo shoot. Since eating vegan, I've been way less concerned with my sugar intake, and instead I'm focusing on not eating processed food. If it has sugar in it and I've made it from scratch, bring it on. Next time I'll double this recipe and freeze the rest.

Another thing about transitioning to being vegan is it requires a lot of new shopping that you aren't used to. Suddenly most of what you buy comes from the bulk section and all of the seeds look the same, so it takes ten times longer to find your ingredients. On top of that, the prices look scary. Ten dollars per pound for SEEDS?! That was my first thought when I went out and bought all of the ingredients for this recipe, but I'm here to say it's okay! Really, it is.

First of all, it's not as expensive as you think. I bought what I thought was a lot of seeds, but none of what I purchased weighed over a pound. Once I got home and made this recipe, I still had half to three-quarters left of each seed I had purchased. Therefore, it wasn't expensive at all.

Secondly, once you have vegan-friendly ingredients in your house, you're set. It takes some time to shop for vegan ingredients at first, but once you have your basics, you can make most things. It's just like regular cooking...your basics are things like salt, pepper, garlic, lemon, olive oil, condiments...those kinds of things. With being vegan, you need a few different types of seeds, some new oils and possibly flours, but after that, you'll have everything you need. You'll find vegan recipes use the same ingredients over and over again. When you find these ingredients once in a grocery store, they'll be easy to find the next time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup rise crispy cereal
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup roasted almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini non-dairy chocolate chips (optional, but I absolutely added these)

Directions:

Line a 9-inch cake pan with two pieces of parchment paper (one going each way).

In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice crispy cereal, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Mix.

In a small saucepan, stir together the brown rice syrup and the peanut butter until well combined. Cook over medium to hight heat until the mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture, using a spatula to scrape every last bit out of the pan. Stir well until all of the oats and cereal are coated in the wet mixture. Allow the mixture to slightly cool before folding in the chocolate chips (so they don't melt).

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spreading it out evenly. Lightly wet your hands and press down on the mixture to even it out. Make sure the edges are pressed down and tight, too.

Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, and chill for 10 minutes.

Lift the oat square out of the pan, using the parchment paper as handles, and place it on a cutting board. With a pizza roller or serrated knife, slice the square into 6 rows and then slice them in half to make 12 bars total.

Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap or foil and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or 1 month in the freezer.

I thought I'd eat the entire pan these are so good, but they're also very filling and I managed to only need one (thus saving my self control for another day).

Let me know if you make them and what you think!

Long weekend grilled salad.

I think this salad is called long weekend because it's just that, it takes a loooong time to make this. Either that, or I'm not a huge fan of grilling, which is where the additional time comes from. When I think of a salad, I think quick and easy (while still being filling). This one took awhile and it wasn't as filling as I thought. It's probably great for, like the title says, a long weekend, and as a side dish for many different meals. 

I've been going through the entire Oh She Glows cookbook and while the other three recipes I've made from her cookbook received a 10 out of 10, I'm scoring this one at a 6.5. It was still worth trying out this recipe, though! The dressing is delicious and I will definitely remake it for another type of salad (probably something Mexican).

Serves 6. Takes about 45 mins (prep and grill time).

Ingredients:

Grilled vegetables:
- 4 ears of corn (Oh She Glows calls for 6)
- Coconut oil for brushing on the vegetables (I used extra virgin olive oil)
- 3 bell peppers (red, yellow and orange), quartered lengthwise
- 2 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise
- salt and pepper

Dressing:
- 3 TBSPs of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 TBSPs of fresh lime juice (I juiced two limes)
- 1 glove of garlic, minced
- 2 TBSPs of minced fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 TSP agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
- 1/4 TSP sea salt
- pepper to taste

Optional ingredients:
- 1 avocado
- 1 can of black beans

Directions:
After you've chopped the peppers and zucchini, brush coconut oil or olive oil on them, along with the corn. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap the corn in tinfoil, and then place them on the grill. The rest of the veggies go directly on the grill. Make sure your grill is preheated (about 10 min). Grill for about 15 mins, rotating the veggies every 5. Take the peppers and zucchini off the grill and leave the corn on for another 10 to 15 minutes.

For the dressing, mix everything into a bowl (extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, agave nectar, salt and pepper).

Once everything is off the grill, you will need to let it cool for a few minutes before chopping. Chop everything up and mix it into the bowl with the dressing. For the corn, stand each ear in a dish or a pan and slice downward along the length of the corn with a knife. Mix the corn in with everything else.

Lastly, I added a can of black beans for some extra protein. I also seasoned the salad with a bit more salt, pepper and cilantro.

If you end up making this, let me know what you think of it!

Green breakfast smoothie.

I make smoothies for breakfast a few times a week, and can honestly say that I feel my healthiest when I skip a super heavy breakfast, and have something lighter and more nutritious. I'm a huge fan of green smoothies, and as someone who has struggled with anemia off and on, this is such a great way for me to get iron that is easy for my body to digest. I've been making the same smoothie for years, and was super excited when I opened the Oh She Glows cookbook and found almost the same recipe as my own. The only difference is that she doesn't add berries to her green smoothie, where I have been. Here's what I made this morning:

- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 *huge* handful of spinach (don't be shy!)
- 1 banana
- 3 to 4 TBSPs of peanut butter (Oh She Glows recommends 1 TBSP, but I seem to do better with the extra protein, and I prefer to not use protein powder, which she suggests as well)
- 1 TBSP of chia seeds
- 1/4 TSP pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 TSP of cinnamon

To keep the smoothie cold, I would usually add about a cup of frozen mixed berries, which also gives it a nice tangy taste. This morning I skipped the berries and added 2 ice cubes. I was worried the flavor wouldn't be as good, but I think it's even better. It's rich, creamy and super refreshing!

PS: If there is one kitchen item I highly recommend, it is buying a vitamix. They are pricey, but they are SO worth it. I use mine several times a week, if not every day, and that thing is powerful. I'd even look on craigslist to see if you can find one used. Mine is pretty old but still works like it is brand new.

Strawberry-mango guacamole.

I recently bought the Oh She Glows Cookbook and I am absolutely hooked on it. I was tired of looking up recipes on Pinterest (mostly, tired of doing yet another activity that involved a computer), so I decided to buy an actual cookbook. I've made three recipes from her book and not only is her cookbook entirely vegan (yay!), all three recipes I have tried have been super easy to make! 

Here's what you need to make a strawberry-mango guacamole (recipe by Oh She Glows). This recipe makes 3 cups.

- 2 medium avocados
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion (I used maybe 1/3 cup)
- 1 mango
- 1.5 cups finally chopped strawberries
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 to 2 TBSPs of fresh lime juice (I used 1 and a half limes)
- sea salt to taste
- corn chips for eating

This recipe is super easy. Chop all of the ingredients, combine them into a bowl and you're done! What I loved about this recipe was how flavorful it was despite only have lime as the sauce. I am a huge sauce person, and usually combine sauces, but with the onion, cilantro and salt in there, you really don't need any other flavor. This is a great appetizer you can serve with chips, or you can do what I did, and eat the entire thing with chips for dinner (oops). #noregrets

The beginning of my recipe blog.

Let me start by saying that never in a million years did I think I would start blogging about food and recipes. With that being said...

Welcome to my recipe blog!

Seriously, I never thought I’d do this, but it has been on my mind for the past few months, and I have decided to give it a shot. I think it is a bit crazy of me to start this, considering I have also started Shop Ethically and have a few other side projects I’m working on, but that’s the beauty of freelance. I have time–very limited unless strategically organized time–but time nonetheless.

I’m starting this blog for a few reasons:

1. Let food be the medicine and medicine be thy food.
As someone who has struggled with my health off and on for the majority of my life, if there is one thing I have learned, it is that my body is incredibly sensitive to food. But, rather than calling my body sensitive, I’d prefer to say that my body does well with the things it should do well on, that is, healthy and natural food. Without getting into too much detail, I’ll simply say this: food has healed my body while medicine I have developed allergies to. I really do believe that food can be our medicine, and medicine should be our food.

2. Eating right should be easy.
But gosh, it hasn’t always felt this way. Eating has been easy, but eating well has not, and I want to change that. I love food, and I love cooking, but hobbies, work, play, and life usually take the place of cooking, when they shouldn’t. Eating is what keeps me alive, and I want what I eat to be a bigger priority in my life. To get me motivated, why not combine everything I love to do (taking photos, writing and eating) into one. Basically, I want to take beautiful photos of the things I cook and eat, in order to feel inspired to cook more. Viola, my recipe blog, and suddenly eating right is easy (or at least pretty).

3. I want to save the world.
You might be wondering what a recipe blog has to do with saving the world. It’s actually quite simple: what we eat impacts not only our personal health, but the health of others, the health of animals, and the health of our planet. I don’t like strict labels, but I guess you could call me a vegetarian who tries hard to be vegan most days. Unfortunately, vegetarianism and veganism have received a bad reputation, but hear me out: the meat industry contributes more greenhouse gasses than all of our vehicles do on the road. That’s not cool, because I really like earth, and I want our earth to keep living. I also don’t believe in harming or killing animals. I think our culture has become desensitized to violence and cruelty against animals, and I’m not okay with that. Lastly, people often tell me I’m not getting a well-balanced diet (or enough protein), but there are countless studies that show a plant-based diet is the healthiest one there is, and that you can get enough protein from a plant-based diet. By eating vegetarian, I believe I am saving the world. This blog will have vegetarian and vegan recipes, so you can save the world, too.

Mostly, this is a place for me to write about my food journey, and help inspire those to cook delicious and easy recipes.